OXFORD, Miss. – The Ole Miss men’s tennis team was picked to win the SEC Western Division as announced Friday in the SEC Men’s Tennis Preseason Coaches Poll.
The Rebels, ranked No. 10 in the preseason ITA National Rankings, have won eight straight SEC West titles. Last year, they also captured the overall SEC Championship with an 11-0 league record and won their second straight SEC Tournament title.
Ole Miss opened the season last weekend at the SEC Indoor and will face arch-rival Mississippi State in the annual River Hills Mississippi Cup Monday in Jackson. The match, the first for both teams this season, will begin at 5 p.m. at the River Hills Club, and fans can purchase tickets by calling 601) 987-4438.
The Rebels have won 23 straight matches in the overall series and 10 consecutive Mississippi Cups.
“State is one of the most improved teams in the nation, and this will be a big test for our young squad,” head coach Billy Chadwick said. “We are expecting another sellout crowd, and this should prove to be a very close and exciting match. We will have to be at our best to keep our streak alive.”
Leading the way for the Rebels this year is senior Kalle Norberg, last year’s SEC Tournament Most Valuable Player. Also back is junior Tucker Vorster, who began the spring ranked No. 49 in the nation in singles after a great fall, and sophomore twins Marcel Thiemann (ranked No. 61 in singles) and Chris Thiemann.
Chadwick has assembled another outstanding freshman class that includes Houston, Texas native Harry Fowler, a product of the prestigious IMG Bolleiteiri Academy. The list of newcomers also features one of the top juniors in Germany, Jonas Lütjen, Jaime Vazquez Catoira of Spain and Adrian Forberg Skogeng, who had an excellent fall for the Rebels.
Behind the Rebels in the West, LSU was voted second, followed by Auburn, Mississippi State, Alabama and Arkansas. Tennessee was picked to win the Eastern Division, followed by Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Vanderbilt and South Carolina. Tennessee was voted to win the overall championship.
The preseason poll is voted on by the SEC Men’s Tennis Coaches and is based on a 6-5-4-3-2-1 count. The complete tally for the poll is below.
2010 Men’s Tennis Coaches Preseason Poll
1. Tennessee 69
T2. Florida 55
T2. Georgia 55
4. Kentucky 37
5. Vanderbilt 21
6. South Carolina 15
1. Ole Miss 68
2. LSU 50
3. Auburn 40
4. Mississippi State 39
5. Alabama 38
6. Arkansas 17
Overall Regular Season Champion: Tennessee (10 votes); Florida (1); Georgia (1).